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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sonia sings "from the heart" in Ukrainian and English

One of the tunes on last Sunday's broadcast of Nash Holos was sung by a lovely American country singer by the name of Sonia Lee. To the Ukrainian community, she is simply "Sonia."

Sonia recorded her CD, Від Щерого Серця (From the Heart) to honour her Ukrainian roots and her love of singing. She tells a bit of her personal story, including her struggle with substance abuse, in the liner notes of her CD, on her website, and also in this delightful promo video:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nash Holos recipe: Kyivsky torte

The Kyivsky torte consists of layers of sponge cake containing ground hazelnuts separated by butter cream filling.

A torte is a layer cake in which some of the flour has been replaced with dry bread or cake crumbs, or nuts ground to a fine meal. Ground nuts should be dry; take care not to over process them, or they will become oily. For best results, use a nut grinder instead of food processor.

Bake a torte in a pan with a removable rim, either a spring form or a tube with a removable bottom. Never grease the sides of the pan.

For the Kyivsky Torte you will need:

¾ lb of ground walnuts or hazelnuts (about 3 ½ cups)
12 eggs, separated
¾ cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp fine bread crumbs
1 ½ cups extra strong coffee
1 square unsweetened chocolate or 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate
5 egg yolks
2 ½ Tbsp flour
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar

Beat the 12 eggs yolks until light. Beat in the sugar gradually (a tablespoon at a time), until lemon coloured, light and fluffy. Fold in the breadcrumbs, and the nuts.

Beat the 12 egg whites until stiff. Lighten the nut mixture with a bit of the egg whites and then gently fold in the rest of the whites.

Butter the inside bottoms of two deep layer pans 9 or 10-inch spring form pans and sprinkle with fine breadcrumbs. (Make sure they are deep; shallow pans may cause the batter to run over in the oven.) Regular pans can be used, in this case use parchment paper for the bottom of the pan (butter the paper also).

Bake in a 325º oven for about 30-35 minutes. Test cake with a toothpick in the centre of the cake; if it come out clean the cake is done. Cool for ten minutes and with knife gently go around the cake to loosen, then gently invert onto a cake rack.

For the filling and icing, in the top pan of a double boiler add one-cup hot strong coffee. Cool the remaining half cup. Add the chocolate to the hot coffee in the pan, mixing well to melt.

In a separate bowl, beat the 5 egg yolks until light and set aside.
Blend 2 ½ tablespoons of the flour in the remaining cooled coffee. Blend well until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the flour mixture to the whipped egg yolks and mix well.

Add this mixture to the melted chocolate (in the double boiler), whisking quickly. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently, for about ten minutes. When mixture has thickened set it aside to cool.

Beat unsalted butter with one cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat the cold chocolate mixture, a little at a time, into the butter and beat until fluffy.

Fill and frost the cake layers, and enjoy! (If you wish more layers, cut each cake in half lengthwise, for four cake layers.)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nash Holos recipe: Cherry Walnut slice

Cherries and nuts of all kinds are common in Ukrainian pastries. This lovely slice will satisfy any sweet tooth! As a variation, you can also use blueberries, and/or add some grated lemon zest.

Judy shared this yummy recipe on Nash Holos Sunday, August 16. For her Cherry & Walnut Slice you will need:

1 ½ cup flour
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup butter
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cherries

Sift flour, add sugar and baking powder and blend. Rub in butter, mix in unbeaten egg, and egg yolk. Spread in buttered eight-inch square pan.

Beat egg white until stiff; add brown sugar, walnuts and cherries. Spread over base layer. Bake at 350 º for 45 minutes.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vasyl Popadiuk - a must-see concert!

If you live in the Toronto and Hamilton area, there's a real treat in store for you this weekend!

Vasyl Popadiuk, the super virtuoso violinist on his way to a global artist, will be performing live at Hamilton Place Studio Theater on Saturday August 29th @ 8:00 pm and Toronto’s Assembly Hall Theater on Sunday August 30th @ 4 pm.

Ukrainian businesses and private fans of Vasyl are invited to take advantage of a sponsorship opportunity. For only $50, Vasyl will be pleased to announce your support from the stage during the performances.

To buy tickets call the box office (Toronto 416-521-9555 Hamilton 905-527-7666), online from Ticketmaster (just type in “PAPA DUKE” into the search window), or email

A limited block of discounted tickets @ $40 for both the Hamilton and Toronto shows can be purchased directly by calling 416-521-9555 or the Bukva Ukrainian Bookstore: 416-236-5890 (99 six points road off islington ave. Or e-email: No credit card sales. Cheque or cash only. Order before they are all gone!

If you're not convinced that this is a must-see concert, check out the videos below. I first saw Vasyl when he was still with the Hopak Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, which came to Vancouver circa 1993. I thought then what a marvelous talent he was, and he has only gotten better with time. He is a consummate showman as well as a rare talent ... even broken strings won't slow him down!

Enjoy the show!

Gypsy Music at the Montreal Jazz Festival

Carpathian Hoedown:

Ukrainian folk fantasy

Found this on a Twitter search ... but no other information about the artist. I wonder if this work is by a relative of violin maestro Vasyl Popadiuk? Well, whoever wrote it, and whoever performed it, it's absolutely delightful! Enjoy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pryvit - Fantastic Ukrainian folk group from Montreal

Pryvit from Montreal opened yesterday's program with a song by the same name... Pryvit, which means to Life. I mistakenly said that it was the title track of their first CD release. It wasn't, it was the first track, and the name of the CD is Берег Надії (Shores of Hope). Mea culpa!

They released their second CD last fall, Закликання - Remember Me, which was featured as a CD of the Week in November 2008 on Nash Holos radio.

Pryvit consists of Roman Kostyk, Mark Bednarczyk, and Irene Michalyk ... at least this incarnation which recorded Закликання. Originally, Pryvit was just Roman and Mark, and it was the two of them listeners to yesterday's program heard singing Pryvit.

Unfortunately, Pryvit does not have a website up yet, but if you'd like to order one or both of their CDs (which I highly recommend you do!) you can email them. Fortunately, I came across a YouTube video of the trio performing live at the Montreal Ukrainian Festival in 2006. Here it is. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ukrainian President honours Canadians with state awards

The President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, issued a decree on August 20, 2009 honouring representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora for their significant contribution to the preservation of the national and cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people in the world, as well as for their high professional and artistic skills.

A number of Canadians are among the persons honoured by the Ukrainian President:
  • Dr. Victor Mishalow (Toronto), composer and bandurist, with the Order of Merit, III Class
  • Dr. Oksana Bryzhun Sokolyk (Toronto), Ukrainian community leader, with the Order of Princess Olha, III Class
  • Dr. Maria Fischer-Slysh (Toronto), Ukrainian community leader, with the Order of Princess Olha, III Class
  • Mrs. Vera Zazulak (Zelinska), Musical Director of the Zoloti Struny Bandura Ensemble and Kapela, with the Title of Honoured Performing Artist of Ukraine
  • Mr. Vasyl Popadiuk (Toronto), violinist, with the Title of Honoured Performing Artist of Ukraine
  • Dr. Taras Babick (Winnipeg), Artistic Director of the ORLAN Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, with the Title of the Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine
  • Mr. Valeri Movchan (Toronto), Artistic Director of the Ukrainian School of Arts, with the Title of the Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine.

For more information, contact:

Olena Zakharova
Press secretary
Embassy of Ukraine in Canada
Tel.: 613-230-2961 ext. 105
310 Somerset

Canada's Prime Minister congratulations Ukraine on 18th anniversary of Independence

It was very nice to see this message by Prime Minister Stephen Harper being circulated.

As far as I can recall, he is the first Canadian Prime Minister to send out congratulations to the people of Ukraine and to Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry on Ukrainian Independence Day.

Here is the message, in both English and French, which came to me from the office of Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism:


Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement on the 18th anniversary of Ukrainian independence, taking place on August 24, 2009:

“On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I want to congratulate the people of Ukraine and Canadians of Ukrainian heritage as they celebrate the 18th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.

“Canada and Ukraine have a special bond that goes back more than a century. More than 130,000 Ukrainian immigrants came to Canada during our country’s early years. The legacy of those early settlers is felt today in the proud and thriving Ukrainian communities we see throughout Canada.

“The people of Canada were proud to support the courageous Ukrainians who, at great risk, fought for the right to self-determination. Canada was the first western country to recognize Ukraine after it broke free from Soviet domination. Today we are proud to count Ukrainians – a free people living in a free nation – among our closest friends.

“Canadians were delighted to host a state visit from President Viktor Yushchenko, who made history last year when he addressed Canada’s Parliament. Our government acted to provide redress to the families of Ukrainians who were unjustly detained during the First World War. Our government also supported a Parliamentary motion that made Canada the first country in the world to provide the long-overdue recognition that the Holodomor was an act of genocide. We continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to become a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“As Prime Minister, I am proud to lead a government that counts a free, proud and independent Ukraine as one of its closest friends. As a Canadian, I am grateful for the tremendous contributions that Canadians of Ukrainian heritage have made to our country’s culture, history, economy and way of life. Ours is a strong and special bond, and we should all look forward to building on it in the future.”



Le Premier ministre Stephen Harper a publié la déclaration suivante à l’occasion du 18e anniversaire de l’indépendance de l’Ukraine, qui aura lieu le 24 août prochain :

« Au nom du gouvernement du Canada, et de tous les Canadiens et Canadiennes, je tiens à féliciter les Ukrainiens et les Canadiens d’origine ukrainienne à l’occasion du 18e anniversaire de l’indépendance de l’Ukraine.

« Le Canada et l’Ukraine entretiennent une relation spéciale qui remonte à plus d’un siècle. Plus de 130 000 immigrants ukrainiens sont venus au Canada au tout début de l’histoire de notre pays. L’héritage de ces premiers colons se fait sentir aujourd’hui dans les collectivités ukrainiennes fières et prospères qui se sont établies partout au Canada.

« La population canadienne est fière d’avoir soutenu les courageux Ukrainiens qui, au péril de leur vie, ont lutté pour leur droit à l’auto-détermination. Le Canada a été le premier pays occidental à reconnaître l’Ukraine après qu’elle se soit libérée du giron soviétique. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes fiers de compter parmi nos plus proches amis les Ukrainiens, une population libre vivant dans un pays libre.

« L’année dernière, les Canadiens et les Canadiennes ont été heureux d’accueillir le président Viktor Iouchtchenko, qui a écrit une page d’histoire lorsqu’il s’est adressé au Parlement canadien. Notre gouvernement a agi pour réparer les torts causés aux familles ukrainiennes qui ont été injustement détenues pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. Il a également appuyé une motion parlementaire qui a fait du Canada le premier pays du monde à reconnaître comme il se devait depuis trop longtemps l’Holodomor comme un génocide. Nous continuons d’appuyer l’Ukraine dans ses efforts pour devenir membre à part entière de l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord.

« En ma qualité de Premier ministre, je suis fier d’être à la tête d’un gouvernement qui compte parmi ses plus proches amis une Ukraine libre, fière et indépendante. À titre de Canadien, je suis reconnaissant pour l’énorme contribution apportée par les Canadiens d’origine ukrainienne à la culture, à l’histoire, à l’économie et au mode de vie de notre pays. Notre relation est solide et spéciale, et nous devons tous la mettre à profit pour aller de l’avant. »

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nash Holos recipe: Cherry Cha-Cha

Fresh sour (Morello) cherries are definitely a Ukrainian favourite, and can be found in many orchards throughout Ukraine.

Sour cherries make the most wonderful wine, jellies, jams and pies... and of course, pyrohy!

If you can’t get your hands on the fresh ones, dried sour cherries are readily available in most supermarkets. As well, cans and jars of sour cherries imported from Eastern Europe can be found in many specialty shops and delis.

So, you have no excuse not to do the cherry cha-cha!

To make Judy’s wonderful Cherry Cha Cha you will need:

¾ cups of fresh sour cherries or dried cherries
¾ cups of blueberries
1 ½ cups of water
½ cup of sugar or to taste
1/8 cup of almond extract

Simmer the fruit with water and sugar in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until fruit is softened and the liquid is a little syrupy … about 15 minutes.

Remove from stove and add the almond extract.

Cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Makes 3 cups.

Serve cherry cha-cha over ice cream, vanilla pound cake or drizzle over angel food cake. If you’re feeling exotic, in place of almond extract add one eighth of a cup of Cherry Liquor.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Nash Holos recipe: Summer berry cake

Sugared fresh fruits as well as fruits with sour cream and whipped cream have always been very popular with Ukrainians. Desserts like this light and luscious berry cake make it easy to understand why!

The best berries to use in this recipe are strawberries, raspberries and blueberries or cherries. Other fruits can also be used, such as thinly sliced plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, pears, apples or chopped rhubarb.

This week's recipe:

Summer Berry Cake

4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup yoghurt
1 large egg, beaten
2 two lbs berries (your choice)
¼ cup flour
1 cup sugar
Icing sugar for dusting

Mix 4 cups flour with the baking soda. Set aside.

In another bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy. (You can adjust the sugar to your taste.)

Add beaten egg and yoghurt to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly and combine with the dry ingredients.

Press dough onto a generously buttered jellyroll pan (or similar). Flatten dough with the palm of your hand.

For the topping, toss two pounds of berries (of your choice) or chopped fruit with ¼ cup flour.

Cover the dough with the berry or fruit mixture, and sprinkle with sugar. Again, you can adjust the sugar according to your taste and/or the sweetness of the fruit. (You would likely want to use more sugar with rhubarb than with, e.g., blueberries.)

Bake in a pre-heated 350ºF degree oven for 40-50 minutes. When cooled, dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream. (Serves 8.)


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